Venting yourself on the world

I must have been among the first Durban people outside the university to hear of the Internet and to see the worldwide web and I was completely unimpressed.
This was in the early 1990s, when I had just started writing computer stories, and was given a quick introduction to the web during a visit to the computer department at UND [Durban University]. I didn’t think that they would ever amount to anything and I’m afraid that I made the same miscalculation when I first heard of blogs and blogging a couple of years ago.
Blog is short for weblog, a worldwide web-based diary, and blogging is the act of keeping such a diary. I was convinced that blogs would be a passing phase and that people would soon get bored with the novelty of writing down their thoughts and experiences and posting them for the world to see.
In spite of my gloomy prognosis, however, more and more people took to blogging so that there are now many millions of people doing it. A great number of blogs are probably of no interest to anyone except the family and friends of the blogger but there are also many which are extremely worthwhile.
Many newspaper and television journalists now keep blogs which are valuable supplements to their efforts in the broadcast and printed news media. Politicans are now using blogs to establish contact with their constituents as are companies keeping their customers up to date with new developments.
Getting your point of view out to the world was previously pretty expensive which limited publishing to the established media. Blogging has democratised things a lot and now any Joe Soap can bring his story to the attention of the world as happened, for example, when blogger Matt Drudge broke the news of the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky scandal.
I had heard that there were services which would allow people to publish a blog without knowing anything about website creation but I didn’t try them out through lack of interest. It was only a few weeks ago that a client needed a blog and I went into the matter again.
After a little research I ended up at http://www.blogger.com/ where I found, to my amazement, that you could set up a blog for free. Setting up a blog at Blogger is as easy as falling off a log and I don’t think it can have been more than 10 minutes or so before I had one set up for the client.
You get a wide choice of templates to choose from and, once that’s done, you get directed to a page where you can customise your blog if you want to. The Help feature is very good and explains clearly the implications of each choice you can make.
Adding entries to your blog is then as simple as signing in to your page at http://www.blogger.com/ and typing into what looks like a mini-wordprocessor and uploading any pictures you want to include. You use the same page to edit or delete your entries and comments left by visitors to your blog. I chose to use Blogger but there are many other options available. Why not give blogging a try?

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